The anti-war movement has a local champion who unequivocally opposed American entry into Iraq back in 2002, loves Hillary, and who isn’t afraid to crumple up the script and say what’s on his mind. The trouble is this politician’s name is Donald Cresitello, mayor of Morristown, who upped the ante today in his anti illegal immigration crusade, calling on U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie to wake up and get to work and enforce federal immigration laws.
A blunt, to hell with the consequences 1982 Democratic U.S. Senate candidate who switched to the GOP and then back to the Democrats, who now backs Hillary Clinton for president and raised $25,000 for Sen. Robert Menendez in his last campaign, Cresitello is waiting for the federal government to decide whether or not to use ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents to train local law enforcement officers in Morristown. If the feds move ahead, some officers in Cresitello’s hometown would in effect become federal arms of the law, specially equipped to crack down on illegal immigrants suspected of felony crimes.
In the affluent climes of suburban Morris County, homeowners who need work done on their houses or contractors looking for cheap labor regularly cruise over to the Morristown Train Depots, where undocumented laborers wait in a makeshift muster station.
“There are 200 of them on the streets, and they convene at the train station, they convene at the 24-hour store, the paint stores, a bunch of them stand in front of their houses,” said Cresitello, a contractor by trade with union roots stretching back to the late 1950s. The mayor says he’s fuming because of what he describes as anti-unionism in this country going back to the Carter administration, a state tax burden further encumbered by transient illegal immigrants bucking the system – and a government at all levels that is unresponsive.
Workers are the ones getting the shaft, says Cresitello – both illegal immigrants consigned to do work that President George W. Bush says “Americans will not do,” for very little pay and with no job protections, and legal residents of the United States, many of whom can no longer vie for competitive labor jobs.
Frustrated, irritated, the mayor grabbed a microphone at an anti-illegal immigration rally where he said he hadn’t planned to speak over the weekend and denounced the opposition as “communists and socialists,” terms he used, he later explained, because the counter-protesters waved red flags and refused to honor the Stars and Stripes.
“I asked the guy not to come to Morristown,” Cresitello said of Daniel Smeriglio, from Voice of the People USA, the Pennsylvania activist group that spear-headed the rally. “Then when the rally started I saw a lot of people I know – not right wing nuts – but Morristown residents who are affected by this issue, and I felt I had an obligation to those people.”